Today I received the following comment on an old post of mine, “I’ve just found your… er, blog. It’s more than just a blog, it’s like reading a letter from a friend.” What a fantastic compliment! That is always my hope when I post. I hope you see me as a friend who cares about you and our blogging community!
And sometimes friends need to have heart-to-hearts about difficult issues in their friendship circle, and that is what this post is going to be about.
I have shared with you many, many times that I often speak without thinking. Recently I was sharing with some friends on Twitter about a silly blog post I published my first year of blogging. One friend asked, “Did you have second thoughts about it before you published?” I told her that I typically only have first thoughts….I am still working on having second ones! And although I pride myself for this blunt honesty and authenticity of mine, I am also aware of the power our words have on others. We possess an amazing power to uplift, encourage, bless, motivate, strengthen, and even heal others with our words! What a gift! On the flip side, we also have the power to tear down, hurt, malign, meddle, criticize, and judge.
I am writing this post in response to a collective climate I see brewing across our niche that needs to be addressed. Recently, I’ve had numerous conversations with bloggers that have been incredibly hurt by readers’ careless comments. Most of these readers are also fellow bloggers. Bloggers hurting bloggers? Not cool. I am in no way exempt from the drama. I can be just as petty, jealous, critical, and judgmental as the worst of them. I’ve thought, said, and acted stupidly more times than I care to admit. I’ve had to apologize to some of my best blog friends for acting rashly and speaking without thinking.
But I also think I have a gift/curse, called discernment, which led me into the profession of counseling for over a decade….long before creating this blog. I’m dusting off my counseling hat today and telling you what I see happening in hopes that we can all work harder on doing something about it.
Let’s explore some fictional comments, thoughts, and heart issues of the blogging world.
(Again, this is all fictional. I’m not talking about myself or any other specific blogger. I’m using an exaggerated illustration to make a point about what I see happening.)
The Private Thoughts about “That” Blogger:
Sure, I could bake, and cook, and be crafty, and sew, and decorate
The Actual Words Said to “That” Blogger:
You are obviously very proud of the work you’ve done on this project! Good for you for being proud of yourself on your cute and simple project! (I sound sweet. My words are positive, but really I’m totally patronizing and passive aggressive.)
The Issues of the Heart:
I fully believe that hurting people hurt people. All of us have junk that gets triggered when we operate in relationship to one another. However, most of us do not have the humility or insight into our own awful junk to admit the heart issues that drive us. Our pride and self-righteousness rear their ugly heads and we justify to ourselves, “I’m not jealous! I’m not hurt! I just question why so-and-so does ______.” I challenge you to dig in deep. Really? There is no longing in your heart that says, “Man, I wish I _______…..” There is no desire to have what she appears to have? There is no jealousy driving some thoughts that lead to spoken words and gossip? There is no spirit of competition that lead to negative thoughts? There is no unmet need in yourself that is leading to your judgement and criticism?
I love our blogging community. I love my fellow bloggers and am inspired hourly by the creations of others. I love this hobby of mine that has become a very necessary part-time job. And I love that you take precious time out of your day to leave comment gifts all over the blogosphere! I am calling on you to ensure our blogging community continues to be a positive place. I am calling on you to use your words to uplift, encourage, bless, motivate, strengthen, and even heal! I am calling on you to be a blessing in the lives of others!
Now go forth and totally make someone’s day!